In an Australian cricket first, leading online bookmaker sportsbet has declared the 2010/11 Ashes Series over and has paid out all bets totaling more than $400,000 on England to not only retain the Ashes, but to win the series after Day One of the Third Test in Perth.
The unprecedented move sees punters collect their winnings with an incredible four days of play left in the Perth Test – and with the Melbourne and Sydney Tests to come.
“Unfortunately for Australian cricket fans the writing is on the wall and we can’t see the Aussies coming back from here,” said sportsbet’s Chief Executive Matthew Tripp.
“We’d be paying out soon enough anyway so punters may as well have their cash now in time for Christmas.
“Cricket punters are normally very patriotic to the Aussies but they also know a good thing when they see it and it seems everyone has backed England to win this series.
“As big fans of our national side we’d love to get this one wrong but we can’t see any hope of them turning it around.”
Just before the First Test in Brisbane, one punter had $50,000 on England to win the series at $3, meaning he has collected $150,000 before the halfway mark of the series.
“As with all sportsbet early payouts and refunds, there is no requirement for punters to reinvest their winnings, it’s their money and they can do as they please with it,” said Tripp.
“The bottom line is, why risk betting anywhere else when sportsbet regularly pays out early on big events?”
Sportsbet is generating a reputation for paying out early on big events. In October the bookie paid out more than $250,000 early on So You Think to win the Cox Plate, five days before the race.
However, the bookmaker does not always get it right. Earlier this year, sportsbet paid out more than $150,000 in bets on Richmond for the AFL Wooden Spoon after just four rounds. A mid-season revival saw the Tigers finish two wins clear of West Coast at the bottom of the ladder.
The payout applies to all single wagers placed on England to win the 2010/11 Ashes Series before 11.30am AEDT on Friday, 17 December 2010.